Affilliates  ::  Mielke Family Foundation
Making a Difference.
The Mielke Family Foundation acts as a catalyst for change, seeking to fund organizations or programs that are innovative and effective.


Education is the umbrella to fulfill the charitable wishes of Edward, Beulah, Ruth and Sarah Mielke by supporting the arts, health, youth, and aging in the communities of Appleton and Shawano. While education is the umbrella in fulfilling this purpose, it is important to note that education is not limited merely to schooling, but more broadly defined as follows:

Education has to do with discovery – that learning of the culture, the meanings assigned, the rarefied techniques that have come out of life experiences of people.  They seem to be just as important for human adaptation as these things that we have singled out in school to teach.

- Edmund Gordon

  HISTORYThe Mielke family

The Mielke Family Foundation is one of the most active philanthropic foundations in northeast Wisconsin. It was established in 1963 by Dr. Edward F. Mielke and his wife, Beulah (Bea), together with sisters Ruth and Sarah Mielke. A native of Shawano, Wisconsin, Dr. Mielke practiced medicine in Appleton for 60 years. Ruth presided over the library at Appleton West High School for 40 years, and Sarah taught advanced mathematics at Shawano High School. In 1996, the Foundation reorganized to become the first supporting organization within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Residents of Appleton and Shawano serve on its Grants Committee and Board of Directors. Members of the second and third generations of the Mielke Family are active participants in the work of the Foundation and, through the establishment of funds within the Foundation, perpetuate the philosophy of giving back to the community in which one lives.

Watch interview excerpts of John and Sally:  On their children   On the future   On John's parents


Applications are by invitation only.  If you feel you have an idea that fits the Mielke Family Foundation focus please contact Heidi Dusek (920) 820-1290,


In addition to the grants program, the Mielke Family Foundation proudly sponsors the following:

Sue Kinde and husband Bob

2015 Groth Mentoring Award winner Sue Kinde and husband Bob.
    • Educator of the Year Awards, which recognize the outstanding contributions by Appleton Area School District teachers or professional educators from the K-6 and 7-12 school levels.
    • The Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award, which recognizes individuals from the Fox Valley who serve as mentors in the community and exemplify the qualities that made Paul and Elaine's lives meaningful to others.
    • The Bill Mielke Volunteer Educator Award, which recognizes a Shawano-area individual or group for dedication to education.
    • A Scholarship Program that supports both traditional and nontraditional students at Fox Valley Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and UW-Fox Valley.
    • Attendance at The Nobel Conference by Fox Cities teachers and students, in memory of Ellen Mielke Moore Anderson.
    • Other proactive opportunities based on the Mielke Family Foundation's knowledge of emerging community needs.